The Boston Celtics will be looking to take a commanding 3-0 lead in their first-round NBA playoff series with the Indiana Pacers when they hit the court for Game 3 on Friday as 3-point road underdogs on the NBA odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
Boston has stifled the Pacers’ offense so far in the opening round, limiting Indiana to 82.5 points per game, capped by Wednesday’s 99-91 win as 7.5-point chalk that put the club up 2-0 in the series going into Friday night’s Celtics vs. Pacers betting matchup at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
The Celtics’ fast playoff start also extends the run of strong play down the stretch that enabled them to edge out the Pacers for fourth place in the Eastern Conference standings, and seize home-court advantage in their first-round matchup. Boston has now tallied straight-up wins in three straight contests, and has gone 8-2 SU in its past 10 outings while covering the spread in five of six, according to the OddsShark NBA Database.
The team has also produced some positive results on the road, winning and covering in four of five dates away from TD Garden to put the brakes on a three-game SU slide and a streaky 3-6 SU overall stretch. The Celtics’ current win streak on the road features a decisive 117-97 win over the Pacers as 1-point road chalk on April 5. That victory contributed to Boston’s run of five straight SU wins over the Pacers, and a 5-1 SU record in its past six visits to Indiana.
Not surprisingly, the Celtics have emerged as massive favorites in NBA playoff betting to hand the Pacers their fourth straight first-round exit from the postseason, sporting short -1400 odds on the NBA playoff series prices. Boston has also closed the gap on the favorites on the NBA championship odds, climbing to +1400 after opening the postseason at +1800.
The Pacers’ second-half woes continued with Wednesday night’s loss in Boston. The team now returns home on a dismal 8-16 SU run that started back on February 25. While the Pacers own a respectable 6-4 SU record over 10 home games during that stretch, they have posted just one victory in their past four outings on home court.
Things have been equally bleak for the Pacers at the sportsbooks, where they have covered just once in their last five outings, with each of their four recent losses coming by double-digit margins. Indiana’s tumble has not been overlooked at the sportsbooks, where they lag as a +750 longshot to rebound and win the series, and sit as a +15000 wager on the NBA championship odds.
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